Raising a happy and healthy child is one of the most challenging jobs a parent can have but also one of the most rewarding. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting your child’s emotional and developmental needs while reducing stress and anxiety is more important than ever. We’ve highlighted below some key parenting skills and parenting styles that will prove to be helpful for you.
Here are a few essential parenting skills that you can adopt:
- Lead by example
Walk the walk. Don’t just tell your child what you want them to do. Show them. Actions always speak louder.
Humans, especially children, often learn and pick up habits through imitation. Children, in particular, watch everything their parents do very carefully. Be the person you want your child to be by practicing empathy and showing respect for others.
- Set boundaries in a positive way
While it is necessary to establish boundaries, the way you present them to your children makes a significant difference. Find ways to be firm without being harsh.
Set specific boundaries and be clear about consequences ahead of time to show your child the importance of following rules, without making them feel shocked or threatened.
- Don’t be a helicopter parent
Parents want their children to be responsible and independent. However, at the same time, they feel the urge to supervise their children closely and do things for their children that their children ought to do themselves.
A good parenting skill to develop is how not to be a helicopter parent.
- Help your children develop social skills
Having adequate social skills helps children to be self-confident, successful and having healthier relationships. Here are a few social skills that you can inculcate in your children:
- Accepting differences
- Respecting others’ rights and property
- Identifying others’ feelings
- Seeing things from others’ perspective
- Making eye contact
- Managing negative emotions
- Not interrupting
- Resolving conflicts
- Disagreeing respectfully
- Asking for help
While there is no one right way to raise a child, parents play a significant role in moulding the behaviour and attitude of their children. It’s essential to find the right balance between different parenting styles and that balance can be different for different families.
Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist, coined the following parenting styles:
- Authoritarian Parenting
This type of parenting style focuses on imposing authority on children without any exception. High levels of parental control and low levels of responsiveness are the two characteristics of authoritarian parents.
Authoritarian parents demand blind obedience using reasons such as “because I said so“, when they are questioned by their children. Any attempts to reason with them are seen as backtalk. They are also more likely to resort to harsh punishments, such as corporal punishment, as a way to control children’s behaviour. They usually justify their mean treatment of their kids as ‘tough love’.
Children of authoritarian parents are at a higher risk of developing self-esteem problems because their opinions aren’t valued. They are likely to be obedient and proficient, but score lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.
- Authoritative Parenting
These parents set rules and enforce boundaries by having open discussion, providing guidance and using reasoning.
Although authoritarian parenting and authoritative parenting styles have similar names, they have several important differences in parenting belief, demand and approach. While authoritative parents have high expectations for achievement and maturity just like authoritarian parents, they are also warm and responsive to their child’s emotional needs.
After decades of research, child development experts recognize that authoritative parenting is the best parenting style among the four Baumrind parenting styles and it generally produces the best outcomes in children.
- Permissive Parenting
Parents who are high in support and low in demandingness use the permissive parenting style which is also known as the indulgent style.
Parents are warm and indulgent, but they do not like to say no or disappoint their children.
Permissive parents usually take on more of a friend role than a parent role. They often encourage their children to talk with them about their problems, but they usually don’t put much effort into discouraging poor choices or bad behaviour.
Their children tend to rank low in happiness and self-regulation and are more likely to have problems with authority. Parents using this approach are lenient, do not expect their children to adhere to boundaries or rules, and avoid confrontation.
- Uninvolved Parenting
Parents using the uninvolved (or sometimes referred to as indifferent or neglectful) approach are neglectful or rejecting of their children and do not provide most, if any, necessary parenting responsibilities.
Uninvolved parents expect children to raise themselves. They don’t devote much time or energy into meeting children’s basic needs.
Uninvolved parents may be neglectful but it’s not always intentional. A parent with mental health issues or substance abuse problems, for example, may not be able to care for a child’s physical or emotional needs on a consistent basis.
Children reared by parents who are low in both support and demandingness tend to have issues of self-control, self-esteem. As a result, they may lack control over impulsive behaviours.
The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.